Posted tagged ‘staying home’

“Spring is a powerful spell. The blue. The clouds high up and puffy. The air warmer than it’s been for weeks.”

June 3, 2017

I have no flowers yet. Yesterday was a bust. I didn’t even leave the house except to walk Gracie to the back gate a few times during the day and into the night. I just had no ambition. Some days I’m like that.

Today is sunny and warm, but there is a possibility of showers. It is in the mid 60’s now and may get as low as 51˚, normal spring time weather for New England. I’m happy with showers. They tend to come quickly and leave as quickly. Rain stays around.

All the rain has made for a lush, green world. My lawn has new grass in spots, Gracie squat spots. The rest of the lawn is filling in nicely, and every day new blooms open in the garden. I noticed some of the flowers have seeded themselves and are blooming in new spots. The irises have buds, large purple buds close to blooming. Every day a different delight in the garden catches my eye.

While I’ve been writing this, the sun has disappeared. Clouds have covered it, and I’m not so sure it will be back. The chance of showers is closer to a certainty.

The longer days confuse me. I’m surprised when I check the clock and find out it is still early afternoon but therein lies a problem. I’m a bit confused as to when early afternoon ends and late afternoon begins. I’m leaning toward 4 o’clock.

I’m having hot dogs for dinner tonight, but I’m skipping the beans and brown bread. I never did eat the beans, and I can’t remember when last I ate brown bread. Regardless, though, I’m still calling tonight’s supper a Saturday tradition.

“Fate chooses our relatives, we choose our friends.”

May 8, 2017

This morning is chilly. My heat went on earlier. The sky is peppered with clouds. I’m thinking it’s a day to stay close to home. Luckily I have everything I need and everything Maddie and Gracie need.

When I was a kid, the future was a day or two away.  Once in a while, I’d be asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. That always took me aback so I chose saying teacher just to have a ready answer. I actually had no idea. I was still planning what I’d do on Saturday. I always thought that was a silly question. People like my aunt the nun asked it because they had no idea how to talk to a kid. How’s school was their other question. Good, the great non-descriptor, was my answer.

My father used to drag us to Connecticut once a year to visit my aunt the nun. She was my father’s older sister. Getting there was quite a production. We’d wear our play clothes until my father stopped at a brick highway rest stop in Connecticut where my mother cleaned us up and we put on church clothes. My aunt was always a nun to me as she became one before I was born. Those were the days of black and white habits and wimples. My aunt never seemed comfortable with our visits. Mostly she just paid attention to my father whom she called brother. He hated that. I remember how quiet the convent was. A nun would deliver cookies and lemonade almost without making a sound. She just whished. Part of the visit was always a tour of the school where my aunt taught. We’d follow behind her from the convent to the school like ducklings behind their mother. The tour was always boring. We knew what schools looked like and hers was no different, but we were glad to be moving not just sitting in the reception living room. We’d finish the tour and then go back to the convent to say our goodbyes until next year. I swear we all let out sighs of relief, even my father, as we were leaving.

I was never close to that aunt even after she ditched the habit. She used to come from Connecticut every year to spend Christmas with my parents. We were all nice to her in a stilted sort of way knowing my cousins were favored and we were abided.

My father often said you could pick your nose but not your relatives. I always thought that was gross but he was right. I offer up my aunt the nun as proof.

“In the hands of an able cook, fish can become an inexhaustible source of perpetual delight.”

April 21, 2016

Lately Mother Nature has seen fit to give us sunny, beautiful days. The problem, though, is they are still on the cold side, mostly in the low 50’s and down to the 40’s at night. Today, hooray, will be in the high 50’s and may even reach 60˚.

My back surgeon told me never to lift anything heavier than a phone book. I got to wondering how much longer he can use phone book as a measurement. Actual weight wouldn’t help as most people, including me, have no idea what something weighs. Don’t lift anything bigger than a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas roast?

The two families down the street, each with 4 kids, are away for the vacation. One family went to Disneyland while the other flew to either South or North Carolina. It got me to thinking about our family vacations. Most times we stayed home. Once we went to Niagara Falls. I have no idea how my parents could have afforded that with staying in motels, feeding 4 kids and paying for attractions. I remember every bit of that vacation, including eating lots of McDonald’s for lunch. The hamburgers were 25 cents by then. The walk around the falls wearing those yellow slickers was the highlight of the trip for me. The roaring sound of the rushing water all around me was so loud and so thrilling I could feel the sound in every part of my body. It was like I was part of the falls, part of the cascading  water. It is something I haven’t ever forgotten.

I don’t remember caring that we stayed home. Most of my friends did too. We’d do day trips and go to the beach or to a lake that had a slide into the water. We went to the drive-in. I still have a fondness for drive-ins even though I haven’t been to one in years. The Cape has one but I haven’t be able to interest anyone in going with me. I even volunteered the food but still no takers.

When I was a kid, we couldn’t eat meat on Fridays so my mother served all sorts of stuff like fried dough, English muffin pizzas and fish sticks. That was the only way we were ever served fish. I liked fish sticks but I was young, what did I know? Tonight my friends and I going to Captain Frosty’s for dinner. It is another tradition my friends and I have: we go together the first time for the season. It is mostly a seafood restaurant though they do have hamburgers and hot dogs. I’m thinking maybe scallops or clams. Here the clams have bellies the way they should. The fries are crisp. Each plate gets a small clam ball, a lagniappe. I’m already hungry just thinking about dinner.

I need to fill the feeders today and maybe sit on the deck in the sun to finish my book. I doubt there are many better ways to spend a day.

“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”

May 4, 2015

Today is one of those spring days when outside is warmer than inside. The day is absolutely gorgeous. It is warm, even t-shirt warm, while the house is still sweatshirt chilly. I’m hitting the deck as soon as I finish here.

Every Monday at ten o’clock I visit my neighbor who is Brazilian. Niecy and I just chat so that she can improve her conversational English. She offered to pay me but I refused. She is my neighbor after all, and it’s fun just sitting and chatting. Sometimes I even think we should be sharing tea and cucumber sandwiches.

The week is a quiet one for me but then again most weeks are. I have all this time on my hands, and I find ways to keep busy but most times it’s reading or cleaning or even taking a nap. I don’t go out much, but I’m fine with that. Gracie and I did take a ride the other day after the dump run, and I bought myself my favorite sandwich to eat at home which, I know, doesn’t sound all that exciting, but I enjoyed every minute of the ride and the sandwich. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Last night I watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E., an episode filmed in 1965. The girls’ sort of slinky dresses, the guys’ skinny ties and the swim were all part of one scene. I know I must have worn the same type clothes and danced in the same way, but it made me laugh anyway. The swim has to be one of the silliest dances.

Color has returned to the world. We are over the rainbow, no more Kansas. My spring flowers have all bloomed, and my neighbor’s front garden is filled with tulips of all colors. All the forsythia in the different yards is still bright and eye-catching. Even the male goldfinch is back to being bright yellow or gold I suppose. I can see buds and some leaves on a few of the trees. It is time for me to start wearing my bright colors, to start wearing spring.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

January 1, 2015

Happy New Year, my friends.

I was still awake to say goodbye to 2014 and to give 2015 a hearty welcome then I stayed awake longer and watched Twilight Zone episodes, several of them. I woke up close to eleven this morning and took my time with coffee and the papers. The morning doesn’t feel any different from yesterday’s morning. A new year always begins with parties, noise, funny hats and midnight celebrations then settles back to the usual day by day stuff. The cats and the dog are having their morning naps oblivious to the importance of the day. As for me, I’ve nothing planned, and that makes me glad.

Winter has settled in. Today is cold. It even looks cold. The sky has a pale blue color and some scattered clouds. The dead, brown leaves at the ends of the oak branches are waving in the breeze. Lots of birds are at the feeders. The red spawn was here earlier but has since gone. I haven’t seen any cars on my road. I can’t think of any reason to go out or even to get dressed.

Christmas will begin to disappear tomorrow. It’ll take at least a couple of days and several trips up and down the cellar stairs. I’m never happy to say goodbye to Christmas. It is the one bright spot in a drab, cold winter.

There is a sense of accomplishment left over from yesterday when I actually did two loads of laundry. The basket had sat in the hall for a few days, and I just walked around it. Finally I decided it was time. I even put the clean laundry away, but I’m going to change my bed later and start a new pile of laundry.

Thank you for having spent another year with Coffee. I cherish you all.

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”

December 30, 2014

No mistake about it. Winter has us in its clutches. It’s darn cold now and will go even lower tonight, to 19˚. The Christmas warmth must have been a gift from Mother Nature who is back to her old self again. As for me, I have to go out for an hour or so then I’m hurrying home to get cozy, nestle under the afghan and read. The laundry will sit in the hall another day.

This is the lame duck time of the year. Christmas is over and it’s not yet the new year. I guess it’s the week of reading new books and eating Christmas cookies. The weeks before Christmas were busy. There was baking, wrapping and decorating. The cards had to be addressed and they and the packages had to be sent. Every day had a bit of frantic about it. Christmas Day was making dinner then everything was over; everything was finished. I believe I heard a collective sigh of relief.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day demand no preparation. My days of partying, wearing conical hats and blowing noise makers are over. I have no need to join the revelers. In my younger days, I would have been at a party with a drink in hand and a silly hat on my head. Now I’ll be home wearing my pajamas. If I have the celebratory spirit, I can still wear a funny hat and have a drink in my hand. I will definitely watch the Times Square ball fall and I’ll yell Happy New Year.

I remember when I was little, I wanted to be awake for the New Year. My parents agreed, but only because they knew I’d never make it. Midnight was way beyond my usual bedtime. I sat on the couch wearing my hat and holding my noisemaker which I was not allowed to blow because the noise was driving my father crazy. I drank ginger ale and felt adult. I also fell asleep and missed wishing every one a Happy New Year.

I made no resolutions. I liked last year, and I’m happy. I am content with who I am.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

September 30, 2013

This morning I knew for certain fall had arrived. On my way to breakfast at nine, the bank’s ATM had no line, the streets were nearly empty and the diner had plenty of open booths. My friend and I even sat and chatted, something we could never do in summer. Back then a line of people stood waiting outside so we never took time just to sit and drink coffee, but the people have gone home and the lines have disappeared.

The day is another glorious fall day with a warm sun; it’s not even cold enough to be sweatshirt weather. Even the nights have been warm: in the high 50’s so my bedroom window is still open, and I’ve left the screen on the front door. It’s a day to sit on the deck with a good book and a lazy attitude.

On my way to breakfast I went by the high school where I used to work. I only gave it a passing glance. Though I spent thirty-three years working there, the nine years of retirement have distanced me. I have a sense of nostalgia as I am also a graduate, but that’s it. I am not at all curious as to how it fares. I have moved elsewhere.

My friends have either already traveled or are packing their bags to leave. I am envious. This is the year of staying home for me, and I don’t like it all that much. Looking forward to a trip is one of the pleasures of life. The anticipation builds, and the days are counted down until the big day: the day to leave. I even have a sense of longing for the smell of the jet when I board. During the flight, I check the progress of the plane and count the hours until it touches-down. I love walking out of the airport and smelling air filled with a sense of the place where I’ve landed. Hearing other languages lets me know I am far from home, but I am delighted in the unfamiliar. I roam the streets without purpose and often happen upon a spot to explore or a restaurant with an aroma that draws me to a table. Sometimes it is a shop window which catches my attention. Sometimes it is simply the wandering down one street or another.

I so love to travel and miss it when I don’t.